When I hobbled out of urgent care 13 weeks ago I told myself I still had plenty of time to heal up before my half marathon. I was still dreaming of a fast race and the chance to PR in February.
I finally accepted that I wasn’t going to make it to that race. Now I’m staring down the fact that I won’t even be running at all by then.
At three months, this is officially my worst injury. Sure I’ve had lingering tendonitis, but this takes the cake for my longest, slowest recovery yet. And there really isn’t anything I can do about it.
I’ve accepted that I have a severe ankle injury, and I need to treat it as such. I’ve stopped crying over the fact that I was coming off a huge PR and I was in the best shape I had been in in years. By now that fitness is loooong gone. I’ve also stopped thinking about how I’m going to get back there as soon as I can.
The past and the future are dangerous places. I end up feeling frustrated and hopeless when I dwell on them.
Lately I’ve been trying my best to focus on the present. Not even what I can do today, but what I can do right now. My ankle range of motion comes and goes. The pain hits and fades. I can do squats fine and then suddenly I can’t do them at all.
And it’s all okay. It’s all progress. It’s all something.
I can’t control my recovery. I can’t predict when I will be able to run. I can’t force my body to heal any faster (which isn’t to say I’m not trying everything I can).
I’m still an athlete. I’m still getting stronger. I’m certainly learning a lot. And soon, I will be able to build the base that will let me run and lift until my legs turn to jelly. But right now, I’m still digging the foundation. I’m getting my tendons strong and getting rid of all of the scar tissue in my way.